Kim Jong Un's sister joins North Korean Olympic delegation

North Korean cheering squads arrive at the Korean-transit office on their way to the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. Ahn Young-joon-Pool  Getty Images

North Korean cheering squads arrive at the Korean-transit office on their way to the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. Ahn Young-joon-Pool Getty Images

Earlier, Japanese media reported that the day before the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics, there a military parade will be held that is timed to the 70th anniversary of the creation of the Korean People's Army.

However, on a stop in Alaska en route to Japan, Pence left open the possibility of a face-to-face with senior North Korean officials who are also attending Friday's ceremony in South Korea.

The delegation, led by the North's ceremonial leader Kim Jong Nam, will arrive at Incheon International Airport, near Seoul, around 1:30 p.m., the ministry said.

The 90-minute "curtailed military parade" was not broadcast live - an unusual move apparently aimed at keeping the event low-key, says South Korean news agency Yonhap.

The spokesman said the ranking DPRK delegation will attend the opening ceremony of the 23rd Winter Olympics, which are scheduled to be held Friday at South Korea's eastern county of PyeongChang.

Kim Jong Un and his sister, Kim Yo Jong, have a closer relationship than Kim has with his other siblings.

Amid growing concerns that North Korea is continuing to build its nuclear weapons programme despite strict US and United Nations sanctions, US President Donald Trump has agreed to delay joint military exercises with South Korea until after the Winter Olympics.

South Korea hopes the Games will be an opportunity to re-engage with the North and open the way for talks to resolve one of the world's most risky crises.

The leaflets, which NK News said were found on Saturday, also welcomed the "North Korean athletes, cheerleaders, journalists, taekwondo display team, and performance artists".

However, North Korea has recently begun to show signs of goodwill towards Seoul, and is sending a small group of athletes including figure skaters and hockey players to march under the same flag as South Koreans after a resumption of talks that stalled for two years.

Protesters believe North Korea has been allowed to hijack the Pyeongchang Games, and refer to them instead as the Pyongyang Olympics after the North Korean capital. Kim Yo-Jong would be the first member of the Kim family, born on the sacred Mount Paektu, which is a centrepiece of the North's idolisation and propaganda campaign, to cross the border to the South.

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